04 September 2014

Where is LeeZe? July Bademli > Sept 2014 Moudros

2014-07-10 Mytilini

We transit from Bademli, Turkey to Mytilini, Lesbos, Greece and like fools, we try to comply with all of the rules fro checking into a foreign country. We fly the Greek Flag, the "Q" flag underneath, and we hail the Port Captain / Port Authorities upon our arrival.

What to others do? They med moor or side-to moor to the city wall and then check-in (or not as a few of our neighbors chose not to) after.

But not us. So, because we comply with the rules, we are directed to tie up where the big inter-island ferries tie up for passport and customs. The fenders are bigger than LeeZe! The guy from the Port Authority direct us to tie up there but informs us that "It is NOT my job to handle your lines!" Huh!???? The wall there is so high, and the fenders are so wide there is no safe way to put anyone ashore. I insist he handle my lines or I will go an anchor and use the tender to check in. He reluctantly handles my lines. (I learn later he wants me to use the Port's line handlers (at a 100 euro charge per person).)

He then informs me I have 30 minutes to check in before I have to move. Under my breath, I laugh! My guess is that it will take nearly 3 hours to check in but I say OK.

Our first stop is the Customs and Transit Log office. It takes 20 minutes to find a person to handle us, and she takes 10 more just to get the blank entry and transit log papers, and CARBON PAPER.

Then she makes me fill out a form (I have all the info already printed but she says it needs to be on her form.) So, I write. She takes that form, fills it out, gets me to sign that paper (all in Greek, no English) and throws away the form I filled out. For all I know, I just could have signed up for 20 years in their military!

She then gives to me another form to fill out (nearly the same info is requested) which I do. She transcribes that info to the transit log (some English), fussing with carbon paper along the way, more transcribing, more carbon paper fussing, and then gives me the transit log to sign, which I do.

She then tracks down another person who goes to the safe and breaks out the entry stamp for the transit log, and with quite a flair, stamps the log, and asks for 30 euros.

(For the record, I have a embossed boat seal stamp that I use after I sign one of these documents. There was one document I had to sign concerning that there was no dead or infectious people on board and this document had a place for a boat seal in the corner. It seems that none of my documents that I present to these officials are questioned when they see that seal.)

More than 1 hour has passed.

I come out of that office and the Port Authority guy is in a huff because somewhere either I missed a conversation or misunderstood one because he has been looking for me to show me where his office is, more than 30 minutes has passed, and that only I am allowed off the boat, not Zehra!

So, Zehra goes back on board, I walk with him to see where his office is, and then I go back to Customs to get directions to Passport Control.

Now in Turkey, the Passport Police want to see both of us. Greece? One is enough. I present my passports to the person behind the desk but when he sees that they are not EU passports, he has to go find someone else.

I wait. 15 minutes later, a person shows up. hands to me a form to fill out with nearly the same info required as before. I fill it out. He transcribes it to another form and a ledger, throws out the form I filled in, and gets me to sign his form (again all in Greek!). He then goes and finds another person who is the keeper of the "stamp" and well, you can get the picture.

The passports and transit log are stamped and I am asked for 15 euros. I know from previous entries that I pay 45 euros to enter, but this is the first time I paid it at two different places. I believe the 30 euros is for the transit log, and the 15 euros is for LeeZe's entry. But, not 100% sure.

But before I depart, I am asked a multitude of questions. Fo you have on board any alcohol, drugs, knives, guns, food, fuel, etc etc etc? I tell the guy that the boat is our home so of course there is alcohol on board for us to drink, and not to sell; drugs, of course our medicines, we are not young any more; knives, plenty we are on a boat, need knives to cut ropes; fuel: about 4 tons, and by this time, he is just waving me out the door. ( I wonder if the guy asks these same questions to the mega-yachts? Probably not because they use agents. The only question that seemed to be relevant is the gun question. I said no, but I do have two flare guns!)

Now, I leave the Passport and Customs building and walk to the Port Authority. Here, I fill out more forms, but do not pay anything. They tell me I can go to berth 27 on the wall and can side-to moor if only for a couple of days, or med moor if staying longer. I ask if there are any line handlers that can help me and there are none. I ask about the line handling at the customs dock and am told everyone provides their own. More on this subject later. I am also told that the cost per day at the wall for me is about 6-7 euros ($8.75) per day. (The actual Euro daily rate is "length of boat in meters" times 1.16 (Greek VAT) times 0.36. This is also the same calc that will be used in other ports I am told.) Water and electricity is per a pay-as-you-go system. Buy a five euro card and that gives you an unknown quantity of electricity and water from the shore power pods. No one knows how much. Absolutely no one! And by the time we depart, I still cannot tell you how much 5 euros buys. (The cost here is about 60-70% cheaper than what we pay at city docks in Turkey!)

So, some 3 hours and 20 minutes has passed and I get back to LeeZe. Zehra must have thought I was arrested or something. (Remember the Port Authority guy said 30 minutes max? What a hoot!)

So, we depart the Customs dock and approach #27. The wind is blowing so I set the anchor into the wind and back down to verify it is holding. Seeing no one on the wall, I take a long line from LeeZe's stern to the wall using the tender and secure it. Back on board, Zehra gently backs down as I take in the line. We have a few moments of excitement getting close to another boat (no one on board) but the wind blows me away thankfully and we get close enough to secure aft lines. As this is the first time we have done this ourselves, we are slow and somewhat timid, so this maneuver takes some 2 hours.

We work, it works, and we are in. Tired, but in. We set a port bow line to the wall because our anchor is out to starboard and we have learned that if the wind shifts, this port line comes in real handy!

On 11 July, the wind does shift and starts to blow, and again, we are in danger of our stern hitting the wall. We do what we must and that keeps us off the wall. But it is precarious. We learn our neighbor to starboard is leaving the next day so we decide to take his spot after he leaves. Why? It turns out we set the anchor too much into the wind so if we slide our stern to starboard, it will be better.

So, on 12 July, our neighbors leave and using lines only, we slide left two berth spaces. MUCH better. We get closer to the shore power pod, out from behind a enclosed bus stop, and the gentle breezes are now unimpeded. We surprise ourselves as how easy this move was. I now set a starboard bow line to the wall, and reset the port one due to the move. LeeZe is now safely tied up.

It is Saturday so shops and markets close at 1430 or so and will reopen on Monday. We are told that supermarkets open at 0800 and close 2000, 6 days a week. There are at least three on the SW side of the port, and while we are not in need of anything, we take an early walk, find them, and look around. We eat out, and I just cannot resist a real pork sausage dinner.

22 July: So, it has been 12 days since check in. You can say we like it. But, thinking that time might mellow some experiences, I thought I would wait before addressing some issues.

Honest Bicycle Repair Shop  39°06.681'N,  26°33.448'E
Not so Honest Bicycle Repair Shop  39°06.688'N  26°33.406'E
(Both are on the road between the Old Port and the City Harbor but without street # and names, lat and long will have to do!)

Between then and now, we have found that the city is ABSOLUTELY dead on Sundays except for a military band that shows up at 0800 and sunset on Sundays, raises or removes a Greek flag at a small monument near to the city dock, plays the National Anthem, and then marches away.

We go to the beach on Sundays because there is nothing else to do. On weekdays, shops open at 0800 and close about 1430. Depending on the day, they may or may not reopen in the evening (1830-2100). (Huh?) The fish sellers open at dawn, and many are cleaning up and closing by 1000. (Octopus is in high demand here and if the local fishing trawler returns without, there is no fresh to buy the next day.)  Shops open from 0800-1400 on Saturdays if they are going to open.. Shops will not be open on Sundays, even if there is a cruise liner in.

We cannot help but compare this experience to what we see in Turkey. Maybe the Greeks have a better work - play balance because if this city was in Turkey, the shops would be open 7 days a week 12-14 hours a day.

18-20 July We had guests this weekend (arrived Friday late, departed early Monday).

We ate at Rebetis in the Old Port on Friday +30 225 104 0740. Great Fish dinner. We walked there and back, and around the harbor. Many were out and about! The street we took to the restaurant was lined with all types of shops, none of them open. And the street was filled with walkers. Again, I cannot help but think what it would be like if this street was in Turkey.

We rented a car (last one available in town, or so it seemed!) on Saturday to tour the northern part of the island. Our guests have been here before many times so they showed us the best spots. The first stop was Skala Sikamineas where we ate under a giant Mulberry tree at Scamnia Restaurant +30 225 305 5318 / 5419 www.Skamnia.net.gr or www.underthetree.gr. Our guests wanted lobster but compared to vsits in the past, it was way too $$$. The restaurants hang octopus outside on lines to show people they have it.

Then on to Petra,

a cute town where we walked and enjoyed a village somewhat untouched by time. Then, our last stop was Molyvos where we climbed to the castle, walked down to the fishing port, sat and had some drinks, and then dinner at Triaina Restaurant and Hotel (5 rooms all taken!) Tel +30 225 307 1350/51. Our guests were here last year and sang a little bit (both are opera singers) so with their voices and guitar, then regaled the crowd at dinner for about 45 minutes.

It was a long day but we had a blast!

Some additional comments: On Monday, 14 July, in the afternoon, we were the ONLY boat at the city wall.

We were alone until Thursday, when one boat showed up. For the last two weekends, there may be 4-6 boats at the wall. We were thinking that the city wall would be packed in July but we were mistaken.

No boat, not even the huge 30 meter sailboat from the UK did what we did and first tie up at the customs dock and check-in. All come to the wall, tie up, and then check-in.

Some use an agent. We tried to find one before arriving but could not. It turns out we saved 105 euros (over $140) by doing it ourselves.

A couple of boats came up to the dock, load fuel (walk to the gas station as the city does not allow fuel trucks at the city wall), water and groceries, and departed the next day. They neither checked in nor paid for the berth.

There is a SETUR marina to the South of the city wall. It is in a quiet area of town and somewhat of a walk to get to where the "action" is. They have a fuel dock and I could not help but wonder why my sail boat neighbors were trekking to the gas station and lugging back fuel. Finally, I asked!. The marina will sell you the fuel you need but they also will charge you for one night's stay. That same company has marinas in Turkey and they do not have that policy there!

We found fruit and veggies to be $$$, but most meat (less ground beef) and pork is cheaper than Turkey. Chicken is about the same. At night the ice cream venders and stores sell an upscale ice cream at about 3 times the cost in Turkey. Normal dinners are about 20-30% higher, but fish dinners are about 50% cheaper. Restaurants sell table wine by the kilogram and Ouzo, the national drink is sold in small 200 ml bottles. (Unlike Turkey, larger bottles are just not listed on the menu.)

Octopus, fried, cooked in wine sauce, and sautéed in olive oil and garlic is the rage here, and is quite tasty. Squid / calamari is also the rage but large shrimps, not so much. Based on the prices in the restaurants, Octopus, squid and smallish shrimps are the most plentiful. We also found a great butcher, a decent bread shop and a great hardware shop on Archipelagous Street, a two minute walk across the main road and down an alley from where we were docked. There are also plenty of fruits and vegetables stands in the same area. This same streets and streets attached to it are the main shopping streets so when the cruse liners are in, these streets are packed!

What else do we do? Usually in the morning we are out and about. Afternoons, we take a respite from the sun and the heat. We eat dinner either in or out at after sunset, take a walk about the harbor,

and then people watch, lately from two great chairs high up on the boat deck.

Our plans? As of this day, stay awhile and then leave. For sure we will be here until Ramazan is over in Turkey, and the Sugar Holiday (Seker Bayrami) after Ramazan is also finished. At a restaurant Sunday night, the owners were cooking lots of extra food as they expect the Turks will be over here in droves for Seker Bayrami (28-30 July). We were told that there are few hotel rooms left for that period, ferry boat tickets are also hard to come by and that the dock could be crowded. So, we plan to stay and see what all the fuss is about.

30 July. I did not see what the fuss was all about. This is the end of the holiday. The city wall was not full (there was room for at least 6-8 sail boats), and while the city was crowded, it was no more or less crowded than other weekend periods. I also did not see droves of people streaming out from the ferries. Maybe I missed it all.

2014-08-04 We depart Mytilini, make a "brief" pit stop (more later in ANOTHER blog) and arrive in Molyvos (Northern tip of Lesbos) on 15 Aug. Our intentions are to stay a few days and them depart for Limnos. But… the weather and our intentions just do not mix.

Molyvos. It is a very nice town, with a castle / fort on a hill that rises probably some 600+ meters above the water.

We were here with our guests last month but now we have time to "smell the roses."

The town itself nestles on the side of the hill that the castle / fort tops

so for the most part, you are either walking up or down to get to wherever you want to go.

In the port, there are about 8+ restaurants and bars that seem constantly busy at night, and hardly an empty table is to be had come 2100 or so.

A walk up the hill from the port

leads you to the the road cut into the side of the hill that connects Molyvos with the rest of the island. In the middle is another rode that rises UP toward the castle where many of the shops are. The only butcher we found is on the first level of this road, and above him are two grocery stores. There is also a grocery store at the edge of town.

So, if one needs supplies, one climbs and walks.

There is a "village train"

that runs between Molyvos and Petra. We took it one day and walked around.

Petra is more touristy than Molyvos, with beaches and tourist shops, but it looks like a town that come October, one rolls up the sidewalks and puts them away, to come out the following April. The beaches face the Northern Aegean so when there are storms and winds, they get pounded.

We found a hotel that use to be a olive oil factory in Molyvos that also has a beach, We went there a few times for the day (2.50 euros each for a chaise lounge, free wi-fi) and spent the day. To walk there, one goes up and down a hill. So, we cheated and took the tender. Nice!

The port is made up of an inner and outer harbor.

Visiting yachts tie up along the west wall, stern too. A couple of sail boats tried mooring side too, but the Port Authorities made them change. It all appears that one can tie up at the east wall (saw two Greek power cruisers there) but as the two charter boats, and the Greek Coast Guard boat use that area for "touch and goes" landings, I think one would need to pre-arrange with the Port Authority. We saw a sailboat anchor just outside the outer harbor but about an hour later, an outgoing fisherman gave them a note and they moved closer to the old olive oil factory. We saw two "Cats" come in, both after 1800. One anchored off the harbor for most of the day, and then came in. We come to learn that "Cats" can come in after 1800 and cannot stay more than one night. There was a 70' that came in and stayed a few days, and ran his generator from 07-2400. so if one visits, leave the end empty and moor closer in to stay as far away from those guys as possible. The dock was only full one night while we were there. The price per day was calculated the same way as Mytilini and for this port, electricity and water were included.

Fuel. Like Mytilini, sailor boaters lugged fuel from the gas station that is on the edge of town. But I come to learn that if one talks with the two charter boat operators, they get a Shell fuel truck to top them off once per week and the truck can also top off boats. There is a catch: One has to move to the "touch and go" place to load fuel, and then move back. (One can also get a fuel truck to come to you if you are at the huge concrete dock in Petra, some 4 nm away.)

But there is only so much one can do in Molyvos so we keep an eye on the weather. The next run is 60 nm and so we need a good weather window of at least 12 hours, but prefer 18+. There was one in the third week of August but for personal reasons, we do not go. So the next window is seems to be 28 Aug based on the weather forecast. However, late on the 27, "they" change their minds and the window narrows to < 12 hours. Zehra is disappointed because I promised we would go on this day, so I have learned my lesson. Make no promises when it comes to the weather. So, we settle in and the next window appears to be Tuesday.

2014-09-02. It is Tuesday! The day starts at 0445 when I get up. The weather window is good thru 2100 so I was hoping to depart around 0500 and get to Moudros or Myrina on Limnos before it closes. But, it is so dark that I determine that I need some sunlight to safely depart. (I had watched 2 boats depart that had their anchors fouled by harbor debris so even though mine looked clear based on my last swim, I did not want to be clearing a fouled anchor in darkness.)

Sunlight comes and we leave at 0645 w/o a problem. There is a following sea and wind which gives us a slight boost in speed. But this is really a two wave-point hop, separated by 51 nm. 

So, after departure, Zehra goes back to sleep and I pilot LeeZe toward that second point.

We arrive at Limnos Island's SE corner at about 1500 give or take and about an hour earlier, we decided NOT to go on to Myrina (Limnos' main port) as that is another 3+ hours and while the weather is nice, we can see storm clouds coming toward us from the west. So, we enter a large bay and make our way toward Moudros.

In Mytilini, I bought a chart pack for the Northern Aegean (90 euros!) and now I am glad I did. The port guide we have tells us that there is one pier to tie up at Moudros but the chart pack shows three. It also shows that there is a narrow channel to them, but our electronic navigation chart is somewhat "vague" on the details. There are some channel markers shown on the chart pack and for sure, they are there in real life. Whew!

So, per the chart pack, we hail the harbormaster on Channel 12 ( we come to learn that that does NOT happen very often) and after a brief exchange, we are offered a place at the end of the first pier on the left as we enter. (Turns out there was only ONE place empty!) Her English is somewhat limited so she cannot answer our question if we are to moor side, or stern too.

So, we enter the harbor, where at one point, Zehra reports that the depth under the keel is 0.8 meters but as we venture further in, it settles in at 1 meter. We see the spot, and determine it is a side mooring.

We drop the anchor so we can prepare for a port side too mooring (for the record, LeeZe handles like s__t when mooring port side too) because to make it a starboard side too mooring, I would have to swing around in a small basin that the chart pack shows has a depth of 1-2 meters.

We moor with the help of other boaters (did scrape the rub rail so we will need some blue paint!) and we are in and settled by 1730. Shore power and water are at the pier but for now, we need neither.

I am bone tired but after getting the lay of the land from other boaters, Zehra takes a walk into town while I "decompress." Dinner in left overs and bedtime comes early. The weather as predicted turns quite windy at about 2100 and gusts up to 30+ blow most of the night. But we are in, the wind is blowing us on to the pier, and that is OK. Zeghra reports that her initial view is that the town is small and quiet, and has few if any tourists. Throughout the evening, we have people come by and look at LeeZe. Our boat neighbors tell us that many will come to check out the new boat at the pier, so one can surmise the level of entertainment this town has to offer to its locals.

Our plans: Stay until the next good weather window to Myrina but that could be next week.

That concludes this blog entry. Of course, comments and questions are warmly welcomed. If you receive the link to this blog via a personal email, and no longer wish to, just me me know and I will remove you from the list. No hard feelings, OK?

Thanks for taking the time

Lee and Zehra Aboard MV LeeZe

Moudros Limnos Gr

PS Why the extended period without a report? I cannot now say, but do promise I will.

09 July 2014

Where is LeeZe? June July 2014 Candarli > Bademli

2014-06-26: Today we had a great friend from Ankara come visit with us for a short part of the day, with friends from Australia with him. Vern was in Izmir visiting Zerrin, her great and quite adorable son Can (pronounced "Jon") and her husband Ozgur. The drove up from Izmir, toured LeeZe and then because traffic delays, it was time for lunch.

The restaurant was on the beach and Can took advantage of going in for a swim, or two, or three or…

After a long and quite enjoyable lunch and some ice creme, they reluctantly had to depart. It was a great day!

2014-06-27: Today is Friday and Market Day. The farmer's market (called pazar) is about 1.6 km walk from where we are, and it is near to the Municipality building. As we were not the first, it was easy to find by just watching the people carrying the fruits and veggies, and just go in the direction they came from.

The market is huge as it services not just the smallish town of Candarli, but all of the housing areas built over the years in the surrounding hills for those that chose to want to spend their summers here. There were minibuses that bring in people from the outskirts also, and unknown to us, one that circled town taking locals to and from. Part of the market is devoted to clothes (mostly summer) and there were some "hardware" stands. The rest was devoted to fresh veggies, fruit, nuts, some sweets, cheese and chicken. As a general rule, red meat does not appear to be sold at any of these markets in Turkey, and that was true today.

The news is reporting a large spike in meat prices for the upcoming Ramazan (aka Ramadan)  (which starts tomorrow night and lasts for 30 days). It appears that speculators have made a large purchase of meat in the country and then warehoused it, driving up prices. I remember this happening the last two Ramazans and my guess is that the there is nothing that can be done to stop these people doing this.

Anyway, the day was warm (33-35 C in town, a little cooler on the shore) and humid so after getting back to LeeZe, I spent a few minutes under the outside shower cooling off.

2014-06-29: We were to move to another part of the port yesterday morning but the winds were so bad (24-30 knots from the S/SE) that prudence dictated that we stay where we are. Rigged up more tire fenders and had to remove the steps leading to the swim platform as the wind was pushing us down on to the rusty pier and I was concerned that the steps would get ripped off, So, I did take them off, but two bolt heads are now sheared so after the move, I will see if I can get them out. Rigged an additional line to keep the port aft corner of LeeZe from moving too much with the wind blowing so hard. I now have 6 lines working to keep LeeZe off the rocks and in good water. As you can guess, did not sleep too well this night.

Yesterday was also the start of Ramazan. It appears that Turkey is the only country starting Ramazan today. I read that nearly all other Muslim countries are starting it on Sunday due to the presence of the new moon. Anyway, at Sunset, a cannon is fired from the fort in town signifying that one can start the evening meal. Now, I have yet to observe this year the start of the meal (called Iftar) but if it is like anything in previous years, especially in summer where the fast can last ~ 17 hours, the diners are already seated at the table, the first part of the meal in on the table, beverages and drinks are already in the glasses, and everyone is making small talk waiting for the cannon. You can probably picture the scene. These Iftars that "break the fast" can and do last hours, well into the evening, and is not only a time to eat, but also to socialize.

For the record, children, old people and sick people are not required to fast. I have not a clue as to what percentage of the people in Candarli are conforming to this fast but I do know that in other parts of Turkey, (especially those areas away from the coast) nearly 100% of those that should be fasting are.

For those that are not as well fortunate as others, many towns and cities host an Iftar at sunset in a tent (usually) in the center of town. Anyone can come and sit and eat, and if the town is doing this, they will do it every night for the duration of Ramazan.

At the end of Ramazan there is a three-day "Sugar" holiday where you can guess, sweets are purchased and consumed in great numbers. When we had a home in Ankara, Zehra would buy candy and sweets to offer to visitors. The tradition is on the first day many families go and visit relatives and close friends. Drink and these sweets are offered. The visit is not a long one as it could be that you have 6+ families to visit. The second day you may go and visit close friends and others that you could not get to on the first day. The third day is usually just for you to do as you wish.

Zehra went for a walk this afternoon and noted that the beach was crowded, people were eating and drinking beer, and doing all the other normal activities one does on a warm summer Sunday at the shore. So, it appears that the Fast is not widely participated in here.

That is a brief intro into Ramazan.

We are down to ¼ tank of water so we need to load in the next few days. If we do not move, then we will hire another tanker to deliver water (like we did in Cesme) and prepare to depart to go further north.

2014-07-01: We moved yesterday from the rusty pier at the entrance of the port to a berth in front of the clubhouse.

The slip's boat owner is not here for 2-3 days (not really sure how long) so we could use his slip to load water and electricity. The wind was calm and I am my cautious self in getting LeeZe backed into the slip. With lines over, we are in and then had to place the lazy lines on the bow. A Turk wanted to help and at this point, when Turks want to help, it is easier to let them do it, and then fix it, then it is to say no. There were two lazy lines and when he was done with them, neither were tight enough to do their job. But he left, and then I fixed both.

Next was to hook up shore power. Got the cables out and hooked up, and lo and behold, the shore power meter was reading 229 V. Happy as a clam!! Close the shore power breaker and turn on one of two battery chargers and meter is now blank. Lost shore power. Thinking it was something I did wrong, check every point back to the breaker box on shore. All looked fine, but still, no power. I walked into the club house and noticed that the TV was off. (It is ALWAYS on!) Sure enough, the city lost power. Murphy? I sure hope that my little battery charger did not cause the city to black out! ☺

Meanwhile, I had to get the steps leading from the swim platform to the aft deck reinstalled. That means I have to get the two broken bolts out first. Turns out a Captain's brother is a mechanic and he comes over. To make a long story short, (Zehra and I could BARELY understand his Turkish!) he convinced me he had a plan. A short while later, it appears that his plan is not going to work and he needs another plan. He departs (I have no clue why, even though he told us) with one of the two bolts I was able to get out and returns an hour later with a welding machine and other assorted tools. He again presents his new plan, and I nod yes, having little success in completely understanding  what he wants to do. He is concerned about damaging my blue paint but I tell him I can repaint.

His plan? He spot welds a new bolt to the bit remaining in the hole and slowly backs out the piece. Does the twice. Makes it look like as easy as a piece of cake. He then cleans up the threaded holes, repairs the minor damage to the steps and reinstalls. Paint damage? See none. Looks just like when the yard installed. But he has some suggestions. Check the bolts tight every couple of months when in use. Replace the bolts every two to three years. Never apply any lubricant to the bolts when installing. And, if you do not need the steps in the winter, take them off and put the bolts back in.

I move on to loading water while the mechanic is working out his various plans. Got a long hose from the port and started to load water into the water tank. Just slightly below ¼ and the water flow is quite low. Took nearly 6 hours to fill the tank.

Meanwhile, while cleaning up (putting lines away, hosing down the dirty decks, cleaning the mud and gunk from the anchor chain and the huge grassy and muddy clump lodged in the anchor itself) hear a commotion on the wall. Turns out, city power has returned and within minutes, LeeZe's both battery chargers are doing what they do best.

(Zehra says I write too much technical stuff, but it is a necessary (evil) part of boating on your own!)

The day is ending and I am dog tired. Shower and clean up, and Zehra, also beat, does not want to cook. So, we get presentable, and take a walk along the bay, checking out restaurants. Come across Mavi Sanat restaurant and decide we will eat there. BIG MISTAKE. The food was nothing special and we were felt overcharged. Should have continued walking further down to Deniz Lokanta where we ate with Vern et al on 26 June. So, if you are in this town and want dinner, I suggest Deniz over Mavi, OK?

(Another suggestion is Pitane Lokantasi in town opposite the Tansas supermarket. (There is also an outlet along the beach front just as good!) We have eaten there at least three times and each time it was superb. I tend to like their "pide" but their chicken and beef is also good. Prices are very reasonable and the quantity of food is good. They do not serve alcohol so have your beer after dinner!)

While there was a crowd of people along the waterfront over the weekend, there was hardly anyone walking Monday evening. It appears that many of the summer visitors do not fast for Ramazan as we saw no evidence of diners assembling at beach front restaurants near to sundown preparing to eat dinner at sunset. But we did note locals waiting for sunset at a smallish restaurant in the center of town so some are fasting.)

Today, continued to clean up (have water so now is a good time to clean!)  and in the afternoon, I did some chores in town while Zehra went by minibus to see some land (with an absolutely gorgeous  view of a small bay) she bought over 40 years ago. She told me upon her return that it looks the same as it looked 6-7 years ago. The management team has another 10 years to complete the infrastructure for the area (roads, water, etc.) so for the foreseeable future, Zehra will continue to pay.

2014-07-02: After doing some chores in the morning, we decided to go to the beach.

Candarli's beach is one of the BEST we have ever been at in Turkey.

The beach has fine grain sand and once you get past a thin line of small rocks in the water, the bottom is clean and sandy. It is not too deep out to the ropes that mark the area of the authorized swimming area (with life guards!), and it is long, so you do not have to lay your towel in a crowd, unless you want to. What is does not have are chaise lounges that allow one to lie flat and sleep. Every bar / restaurant / pub have these funky chairs that have a long seat, but they are not very comfortable. You can rent an umbrella and these chairs, or, as many do, bring your own. Great Beach!!

After dinner,

we went for a walk and again the road and sidewalk along the beach / bay was alive with people. We sat and I had a Turkish coffee

and Zehra had an ice creme while watching the people walk by. We noticed a new snack being sold. A lady and her daughter were taking a whole potato on a stick, sticking it into some contraption and cutting the potato into one long spiral, then deep frying it.

People (mostly kids) were lined up to buy and were have a fun time eating the potato off the stick. Street sellers also sell corn on the cob cooked in water (BIG sell here!),

cooked corn in a cup, raw almonds chilled on a block of ice,

fried dough balls,


baked potatoes,


and of course ice creme.

Along the beach front just before sunset, some simply do not want to go

and after dinner, not only is there ice creme et al available, but also an arts and crafts street where hand made items are for sale,

women's clothes for sale,

and even sea shells.

The bars and music start up just after dinner and seem to quit about 3 AM. We just do not have the energy to be up at that hour so I cannot describe that scene.

2014-07-05: Yesterday, we had to give up our spot at the wall. We asked to stay one more day as the winds from the North were blowing quite hard but it was not meant to be. The owner wanted it back. So after loading up on fruits, veggies, cheese and nuts at the Friday's Farmers Market, we depart the slip. Of course all does not smoothly as we had little help in keeping the lazy lines clear and the prop caught two of them. The owner of the slip was really angry but to free ourselves, two of his lines had to be cut. I was thinking that God works in mysterious ways.  ☺

We go anchor in some 7 meters of water some 200 meters off the beach, and prepare for the stronger winds. They fail to disappoint (shucks!) and I has a very restless night. (Zehra thinks I worry way to much but in 2011, with strong winds blowing at Eski Foca, the anchor did drag at 0315 and just by the grace of God was I up and able to recover! So, I believe I have reason to worry, at least for the the first night!)

Today, the winds are still blowing just not as bad as last night. We will wait for them to die down (expect that to be tomorrow) before launching the tender off the boat deck

2014-07-09: We were to leave yesterday morning for Bademli but due to some late chores in town, we decided to leave today. But after the chores, we did go back to the beach to lounge / relax.

The bay feels cold when one goes in but it is also quite refreshing. After the beach, we decided to eat on the beach before returning to LeeZe.

We found another GREAT restaurant called Saklibache. It is on the bay front, near to the Arts and Craft's street. Great food, reasonable prices, and again, quite a find.

We departed this morning to Bademli. On the way, we pass EYKO, a bit of land that Zehra purchased some 40 years ago with the idea that it would be developed into a summer home area. (She came here a few days ago by minibus.) First time we are seeing it from the sea and she is happily taking pictures. We loiter among the coves that make up the area and then when done, we resume our transit to Bademli.

Bademli is a group is a group of islands that offer a very well protected anchorage from nearly all weather, is quite a relaxing place and peaceful. But getting in means navigating thru some waters where the chart says it is only 3 meters deep.

But we manage, and we anchor off of a hotel that is on one of the islands.

We come to learn this hotel is quite quite pricy, but it looks quite beautiful. So, we anchor, take a tour of the area in the tender, (near run aground trying to approach a small fishing port) and then return.

Just south of our anchorage is what appears to be another very elegant hotel with funicular that was never quite finished. Have not yet learned why but from what is there, it was to be a very elegant hotel.

That concludes this blog entry. Of course, comments and questions are warmly welcomed.
Thanks for taking the time

Lee and Zehra Aboard MV LeeZe

Bademli, Turkey

2013 Reports

I took the liberty of posting some stories from our 2013 trip. I am trying to figure out how to place them in the timeline at the beginning of the blog but have yet to figure that out.

(If anyone knows, please share!)

These three write-ups describe our trip last year from Netsel Marina in Marmaris to Kusadasi Marina.

If I can find any entries from our 2012 trip (Did the East Med Yacht Rally and then when done, slowly moved west from Mersin, Turkey to Marmaris.) Now that was a long, long cruising season.

Zehra and Lee

MV LeeZe

Underway for Parts West of Marmaris #3 2013

Dear all,

6 Aug We had an uneventful transit to Kurucabuk where again, we catch up with Salty Dog. We learn that farmer market days are Mondays, Wednesday's and Fridays so we plan to spend two days here. Nice bay, crowded. The village ashore is wonderfully beautiful and colorful, full of plants and trees.  The Wednesday market is the smallest we learn, and while stocked, seems that there is not a lot of variety. Still we find good stuff and had breakfast at a local "hut" so, all is still good. There was a report in June 2013 that thieves were stealing from the boats so we lock up tight when we go ashore. That means that the boat is hot when we get back. Oh well.

I watch other boaters as they handle their boat and I cringe. Most put out way too little chain and as long as there is no strong wind, they are fine. But IMHO, all hell could break loose if we get a sustained 20 knot blow.  None predicted so I sleep thru the night. Had a wonderful dinner 7 Aug on board Salty Dawg. Intentions are to push off to Datca tomorrow morning.

9 Aug. We arrived at about noon yesterday in Datca and had called Mehmet Ali (+90 532 468 3355) (speaks some English) and he had a spot waiting for us right by the statute of the monk seal "Badem." (http://www.monachus-guardian.org/mguard19/1916mednew.htm) This place has 32 amp shore power, but it is not cheap. First time in months that I could set the battery chargers to 100 amps and not pop a  c/b. Batteries filled quickly and today, they started a 12 hour equalization cycle so all is good. Walked around last night (first night of Seker Bayrami, which is the first night after Ramazan for those that need to break their fast). It was hopping. We were here in March and could not believe what we were now seeing. The town beach on the "north side" of the town is full of diners. The restaurants are humming. We ate at a small "mom and pop" place and while they have 9 tables, people waited 30-45 minutes to eat. This is due to the holiday. We learn that on Saturday, there is a "huge" farmer's market. I ALWAYS like to go to them because they always reflect the local character. Zehra , not so much. It tuns out that Zehra's Dad ALWAYS went to these markets, and Zehra's Mom,.... never. Zehra does not think that Mom EVER stepped into one of these, ever! If you all were here, you would be amazed as to what they sell and at what price. And, probably, like me, you would not want to miss one.

10 Aug. Today is warm and today is market day. We heard that Datca has a good market and for sure, they do. Every Saturday, by the PTT Telephone office, they have fruit, veggie, cheese, eggs, meat, chicken,  and spice market, along with clothes, hardware, and the like. It is an easy walk from the  quay, even in summer. We have not seen such a market since our days in Izmir. Marmaris does NOT have such a market. And, Marmaris is a larger city than Datca. Go figure. We ran into Salty Dawg at the market and they are in town to visit friends and hopefully, our paths will cross again.

While we will not be here next week, we bet that the crowd will be gone.

As for when we may leave? Maybe Sunday.

11 Aug, It is Sunday and we are leaving. Got the port charge bill late yesterday afternoon and was changed way less than what Mehmet Ali said we were to be charged. Of course did NOT argue, paid, and pocketed the difference. We ate on board, took a walk, enjoyed the crowds and the life and the energy, and went to bed tired. Had done some laundry, shopped for food, etc etc. So underway was about 1000 and it was to be a lumpy ride to Hayitbucu. Winds were from the west (rare for the summer). We get there, after battling a 1.4 knot current, and find the anchorage to be REALLY LUMPY, TINY, SHALLOW and crowded. We are initially in 12 meters of water and lay out some 50 m of chain wile we "survey" the situation. While doing that, a sailboat in a better part of the bay leaves, and so we move, this time to 8 meters of water. Thinking we will be spending the night, and that it will remain lumpy, lay out 70 m of chain. Take the tender in and come to learn we can go pier side. Cost, unknown. Help? Unavailable except for a kind and generous Turkish cat Captain. So, we pick up 70 meters, lay out 30, and now we are stern to to a wooden pier that does not look like to hold us, but does. Water and some electricity is available so we take advantage. We are the only one there at the pier @ 1500. Come 1900? We are one of 11 squeezed in, a guy comes around collecting a 50 tl mooring fee, and we cook on boad at about 2030. The seas and the wind calm down so probably tomorrow morning, we are off 12 miles further west towards Knidos. After discussing it with Zeha, the restaurant that manages the pier is not too bright. Had they said "Eat dinner with us and the pier is free" we probably would have spent more than 50 tl at dinner. But by charging and not offering the option, we ate on board. Others did eat out, but not at that restaurant, but at others. Had they been asked to eat in lieu of paying, some 29 people, each spending 50 tl or more, would have ate at their restaurant. Oh well.

12 Aug. We are still at Hayitbucu but plan to leave after breakfast. We learned that the pier is run by the Mesudiye's Muhtar (muhtar is a mayor-like person  of a village.) and his representative is Lutfu (+90 542 817 9716) If he knows that you are coming, he will help with lines etc, but typically he says, it is rare that there is no one around to help the first boat in.  While he speaks very little english, he knows enough that if you call, you are calling for help to get in. Guess that is acceptable. Today is better than yesterday and while the Turkish cat Captain has strongly recommend that we go to Palamut Buku, Zehra thinks we should push on toward Knidos. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knidos) We shall see where we end up.

So we did stop by Palamut Buku but the anchorage was rolly, the other spots mentioned in the pilot guide were either too remote, rolly, or otherwise not acceptable and we did not want to go into the harbor. So we did push on to Kniidos and when we get there at 1500, the place is packed. So, we drop 100 meters of chain in 20 meters of water and wait. But we do not have to wait long. Like clockwork, the charter gulets start to leave by 1600 and by 1615, a spot is open so we retrieve the 100 meters of chain and proceed to go inside to where the depth is 9-10 meters. Drop 45 meters, snub it, and we are in

But alas, not to be. I swim to check my anchor chain and see that I dropped my chain over a gulet's chain (Yes the water is that clear that one can see details on the bottom like crossed anchor chains.). So, I swim over to him and try to tell him but they are in the process of leaving and keep telling  me to get out of the way. No amount of talking can get their attention so I yell "I dropped my chain over yours." (When I am in a mask and snorkel, my Turkish sucks.) Some one figures out this is important and now I have their attention. The Captain asks "what should I do?" (strange question I think) and I tell him if you give me 15 minutes, I will get lift my chain off his so he can retrieve his.. He is grateful, I think. So, roust Zehra off the computer, start up LeeZe, retrieve all but 20 meters. That leaves the gulet room to retrieve their anchor but by now, my bow is in the stern cockpit of some sailboat. (The gulet must have dropped over 100 meters of chain because two sailboats down wind from me had to lift their chain to let him retrieve his.) It is my fortunate luck that he is leaving also so he retrieves his chain, leaving me room to retrieve my anchor and move closer to shore in about 8 meters of water. This "texas two step" occurs at 1715, takes about 30 minutes, and I am grateful that it was not as disk.

So I close with this entry. We are in a port built thousands of years ago by the Greeks, where their sea-wall is still in use today, where the remains of a amphitheater are off my starboard side, where from the harbor, one can easily see the city's layout and with a little bit of imagination, imagine life back then. What I know that they could not imagine was a 42 meter gulet (http://www.bahriyeli.com/bahriyeli-d-1.phtml) anchored just by their city gate, nor a 15 meter steel LeeZe somewhere in the middle of their smallish harbor.

I am closing for now. There are some attachments below that help support the story.

Open with Google Earth:

Underway for Parts West of Marmaris #2 2013

Dear all,

31 July. We WERE suppose to depart this morning for Orhaniye but again, fuel problems beseech me. Looked to replace both fuel filters on the engine but ouch! Do not have. Drop the anchor again in Selimiye and make a quick call into my engine person in Marmaris and Zehra will be off tomorrow to get them by the dolmus (shared taxi) van. Again kicking myself for not having on board!!! But, there may be a silver lining in this error. It gives me time to think about what exactly am I experiencing....

1 Aug. Been thinking about this fuel starvation issue and do NOT believe it is a fuel filter clog issue. When I had that problem on the East Med Yacht Rally last year, the engine died like a rock falling thru the air. Quick and sudden. The symptoms I am having is like somebody gasping for breath. But, Zehra is off to Marmaris to get the filters and we decide to push on tomorrow. Meanwhile, I am looking for a vacuum leak, believe I found it (loose fitting on the engine fuel pump suction line), seal it with thread sealer and hopefully tomorrow, all is well. Zehra came back EXHAUSTED, but she has the filters and a new bathing suit bottom. We go out tonight for a quick bite to eat.

2 Aug. Had fuel starvation issues AGAIN on the trip to Orhaniye but this time, I put on the fuel purifier pump and slowly came into the anchorage. It occured some 40 minutes after leaving the anchorage, and this after 20 minutes of just circling the anchorage as a "mini-sea trial." Am bummed out but while anchoring, saw the Nordhavn 55 "Salty Dawg" (David, Lowie, Danforth and new to us, Tatli!) anchored. We last ran into them on 1 May 2012 at Teos Marina (Sagcik, Izmir) while on the East Med Yacht Rally. Socialization though will have to wait.

When I go into the engine room to stop the engine (I start the engine the first time every day from the engine room, and shut it down for the last time every day from the engine room) a fuel drip catches my eye. I hold off stopping the engine and see it drip again. It is coming from a pipe connection after my Separ Fuel/Water filter system and is in the line that is the suction pipe to the main engine fuel pump. Normally this line is under a slight vacuum, but because the fuel purifier pump is on, this line is under pressure. Could this be the problem? So, stop the engine, and leave the purifier pump on, recirculating the fuel thru the Separs while I ponder this new bit of data.

So, by playing with the purifying pump's discharge valve, I am able to see exacting where the fuel is dripping from. Turn off the pump and try to tighten the fitting. Does not move so decide to take it apart. I know the drill here. Once you start taking suction fuel pipe apart, you can chase vacuum leaks for weeks. So, being real careful, I disassemble this coupling, apply thread sealant, and re-assemble. Turn on the pump to pressurize the pipe and the leak remains. Now decide to take the pipe off at both ends and inspect. I do, (after a little struggle as to who is going to win!) and decide to apply thread sealant not only to the threads, but also to the coupler's sealing face. Put it all back together (of course going together is more of a problem than coming apart, but you already know that!) and pressurize the pump. Still one leak. (Had not thought to thread seal the pipe threads that this pipe joins, duhhhhh) so, secure pump, take apart, apply thread sealant, re-assemble, and test. No leak after 15 minutes running the pump.

Decide to saran wrap these joints so with the help of Zehra cutting the plastic wrap, I wrap the offending joints with multiple layers of plastic wrap, thinking that if there is still a small vacuum leak, the wrap MIGHT seal it. I then drain both engine fuel oil / water separator filters (Zehra had brought back from Marmaris new ones, just in case) and refill them with fuel to take out the air. After doing all that, while still at anchor, start the engine and run it for one hour+ at 1600 RPM. (My normal traveling rpm is 1400.) After one hour, stop the engine and think I may have a victory to honor. Too hot and sweating and tired so I plan for a short sea trials tomorrow (but alas, that is NOT to be.)

On a parallel wave front, working to get some Netsel people here tomorrow night for Dinner. Not going as well as I am hoping but... So, after cooling off, and a swim over to Salty Dawg to say Hi!, we have dinner on board and then tender into Ersoy's Restaurant to see if he will have room for pier side tomorrow. He does. He states that a sail boat is leaving at midnight tonight and that I should be here by 1000 tomorrow morning. There goes sea trials. We agree, tender back to LeeZe, and I fall asleep on the salon couch.

3 August. Up early, have coffee, take the tender to Salty Dawg and invite them to Ersoy's for dinner. The two of them agree and that is a good start for the day. (One takes small successes whenever possible!!) Zehra gets up, we have coffee together, and underway at 0955 for Ersoy. Moored stern to at Ersoy's pier at about 1015 this morning. He wanted us early as he was afraid that if the wind picked up, we might damage his dock. No engine problems noted but this was hardly a test. We in using 80 meters of chain, and take on shore power and take a break.

After breakfast, off the the weekly farmer's market some 1000 meters down the road, where we load up on fresh fruit, veggies, onions and potatoes.

After the market, I noted the drinking water seems to be "funny tasting" so performed a soft water measurement test and the water is too hard. So, go down to change the HOH resin and carbon filter and while THAT did not go smoothly, it eventually goes and within a couple of hours, we are agin drinking soft water. I call it quits for the day, relax, take a shower and wait for dinner. As it turns out, no one from Netsel is coming so it wlll just be LeeZe and Salty Dawg.

Dinner is at 2000, the sun is setting, and we are sitting at the table enjoying the dinner and company. While Ersoy has some pretty great looking fish, we end up on the meat and potatoes side of the menu. By 2230, dinner is over, we all are ready to call it a night (Salty Dawg still has to walk their two dogs ashore) and again I fall asleep like a rock

4 Aug: Decided to spend one more day at Ersoy's restaurant. Trying to relax. We took the tender to Kiz Kumu, a beach resort across the bay. Its claim to fame is that it "sits" next to a long sand bar that meanders its way out into the bay. If you did not know it existed, and you pulled into the bay, and your paper charts were not up-to-date, you would see a wide bay with people like Jesus walking on water! I cannot tell you how many pictures I have seen of yachts stuck on the sand bar thinking they could get to the other side. Anyway, we read a story about some maiden who spread the sand trying to get across to escape some pirates that were attacking her father's kingdom some 3000 years ago. We think it makes for a great story, but have reason to doubt its authenticity. After the beach, we came back, relaxed and had another great dinner at Ersoy's. This time I had calamari and Zehra had a mixed fish and meat and veggie dish.

5. Today is test day. I am NOT looking forward to it. I am actually dreading it. We depart Ersoy's Restaurant for Bencik, a long cove North and West of Orhaniye. Underway at ~1030 and we are anchored in the cove by 1230.

Underway for Parts West of Marmaris #1 2013

Dear all,
Our contract with Netsel Marina expired on 24 July so on that day, we departed to continue of exploration of Turkey and maybe parts of Greece, who knows. However, departure day was EXHAUSTING. First item to take down was the pier side digital satellite antenna. Then we had to take the meshed tent off the top of the boat deck (kept the salon cool by about 3-4 degrees C compared to outside) then the mesh side panels that took the sun off the windows (2 degrees saving here) and of course stow all of the above. Then fill up the water tank, do a last minute dishwasher load, two clothes washing loads, and water the battery bank. Some last minute shopping (of course!) and by 1330, I am so sweaty that I am off to the showers one last time. Underway was at 3 and we only go 3-4 nm to Icmeler to drop the hook and to relax.

25 July WAS suppose to include a short trip to "Old Monastery Bay" but Zehra decided to push on to Serce, nearly 75% of the way down the SW coats of the Marmaris' peninsula. The weather turns a little windy but we manage and we pull in to a kidney shaped bay where by observation, you are approaching a solid rock wall before "it" gives way to a cosy anchorage. To the north is a mooring field and restaurants so we head south and anchor near to, but behind another sail boat. Turns out later this will come back to haunt us. Any way, we relax, think about taking the tender down from the boat deck but don't (this will really come back to bite me in the ass) and eat dinner. However, remember that sailboat? Seems he drifted toward us but I am holding like a rock. But he is convinced I drag so to keep peace, just after the sun goes down (why can't this crap happen in daylight) we up 60+ meters of chain and go reposition. How did I know I did not drift? I was within 15 meters if where I dropped the chain. The night is quiet but this crap about dragging bothers me.

26 July we are off to Dersik Koyu, across the bay one would enter to go to Bozburun, but since we were there last trip, and we needed no grocery supplies, we go to this bay. Nice place but this time, when I anchor, I drop a buoy to mark the anchor. Had it somewhat set up and this was its first trial run. Worked nearly as planned (some minor adjustments were required, not worth mentioning, and when I go to swim, I see the anchor in about 12 meters of water, clearly dug in. On this trip, I changed my snubber arrangement. The shipyard added a half ring of steel about 1 meter above the water line and during the lift-out, I moved by 6 meter snubber from the bow (about 4 meters above the water) to this ring. Took some learning but now the snubber gets attached to the chain on deck, deployed and the snubber ends up about 4-5 meters below the water. So, if my anchoring thoughts are correct, the anchor is being pulled at in this particular case, about 7 meters off the bottom, and with 40 meters out, that scope is like 5-6:1, which means that I do not have to deploy 80 meters of chain (12 meter depth, 4 meter height, 5:1 ratio) but can deploy less and still get the holding I need. (Some one out there please verify that my thinking is NOT screwed up because it easily can be!) Now, what I did NOT expect is the wind might change and vary and that at some point, the plastic buoy will be knocking against the hull but, can't think of everything. So in the morning, I see that the bow of LeeZe is about 5 meters away from the anchor buoy. Retrieval goes well, some minor lessons learned and we are on our way.

27 July. We are off toward Selimiye and the NOAA grib wx forecast is full of wind and white caps. So, we leave, thinking that the morning will be less windy than the afternoon. While that is true, it is not less windy by any measurable degree. While working outside, my Tilly sun hat that has been with me for years blows off into the water and we do some crazy turns to fish it out of the water. (The two gulets nearby must have thought we had lost our minds.) Avoiding the rocks and shoals, we turn into Selimiye and Zehra calls the restaurant we want to stay at but the owner is less than forthcoming so we decide to try the city marina. We try to land there but the 20+ knots of wind and the yelling and screaming from the boat to starboard makes Zehra so flustered that we head off to anchor. The wind is too high to launch the tender, so when we had the chance in the last two places, we don't now. So I start to prepare to launch just in case the wind dies. But, that is least of my worries. In Mandraki, Rhodes, we had the winch repaired, so we thought. Nope, nada, not true. Had acted the same. This time, I take apart the cables (they had been spliced to give us the needed length to work the which while launching the tender) and find the splices broken, failed, not together. So, since I had planned this October to install cable connectors so I can take the control head inside for the winter, I elect to install that connector now, in 20+ knots of wind, in the heat of the day... Took 2+ hours but got it all installed and the winch works. Wind still too high to launch but at least the winch works. Of course, the wind dies about 1 hour after sunset... way to dark to launch. So, after dinner and some pre-recorded TV, we head off to sleep. BTW, Internet reception sucks here. My guess is that the cell phone towers are overwhelmed with so many people here.

28 July. Up early and there is little wind. Zehra elects to sleep in so after coffee, decide to launch the tender before the wind picks up. So, we are up on the boat deck, Zehra goes to energize the winch, and ...nothing, nada, nope, kaput. UGH. Verify electricity, look at the connectors, and still no winch. On the winch handle is an emergency stop switch which has to be UP to work. It is down. Wondering how that happen I get this sheepish look from Zehra. She turned it because she thought that somehow, that was the on-off switch and she thought it was off. Ok, get that sorted out, position the boom correctly, the tender under the boom, and we wait for the gusts to pass. They do, we lift, the tender goes over the rail and down the side in a relatively smooth operation!..... Wow! So after some cleanup and re-stow, I go and start the Yamaha 2 stroke 15 hp engine. After my experience in Mersin ($300 "repair" to this engine because I put it away improperly the winter before) I decided this past winter to fog the heck out of the engine and so in May, it started. Today, it started on the first pull. Second WOW of the day. (Cannot have too many WOWs in a day!) I decided to fog the engine before lifting it last time. Guess that helped allowing it to start on the first pull today. So, my new plan is to fog the engine a little each lift and in the winter, fog it a lot. So, now with a tender, we are off into town, talk to the municipal marina manager, talk to some restaurants about mooring in front of them, and decide that tomorrow, we shall go in, probably. Town is cute, a little small, but has charm. The day is hot so we have a quick lunch, get some water and a newspaper, and come back to LeeZe to swim and cool off.

30 July. Still in Selimiye and now pier side for two days, probably. Worked yesterday on the Satellite TV tracker gizmo with little luck. Had some shore power issues and as this is a very small town, getting someone to be interested outside of "9-5" is next to impossible. The temp is warm but we are coping. Learned some new info about running the engine off of the forward fuel tank yesterday, while moving from the anchorage to the pier. With it only about ¼ full (it is a double bottom tank) at idle, the engine struggles to get fuel when using the fuel/water separators. If you put both on, still struggles. If you bypass, all is fine. So, my original plan to move fuel from the forward tank to the aft one, and run the engine on the aft tank only, appears to make sense. So, why might you ask did I have the engine on the forward fuel tank? Well, I was transferring fuel and after the transfer, forgot to switch over. The case of being a dummy.

Again, as usual, if you do not desire to receive these, just let me know and I will remove you from the distribution list. Trust me, my feelings will not be hurt.

Zehra and Lee
MV LeeZe

23 June 2014

Where is LeeZe? June 2014 Egri Liman Koyu > Candarli

2014-06-14: We anchored in a small cove called Egri Liman Koyu and just after sunset, a fishing boat all lit up comes way too close for my comfort level and then proceeds to stop maybe 100 m to the North of us. This sets off a small amount of paranoia in Zehra and she starts locking all doors. She believes that there are nefarious people all around us just waiting to pounce. I do not share this at all, and wonder wear it comes from. She reads the newspapers (and they only publish nice stories right?) and sees how many there are being reported, and believes that unless we take measures, we are next. The fact that the newspapers have not reported any boaters being attacked while anchored in small. out of the way coves is immaterial. The newspapers have not reported an attack in years, though they have reported break-ins and items stolen from boats at anchor, especially in the Bay of Marmaris. It is what it is.

2014-06-15: Underway after coffee for Karaburun. It takes about 3 hours to get there. Have to dodge many fish farms, a sailboat that could not seem to be able to make up its mind, and a motor yacht traveling 20+ knots that had no sense of what an appropriate distance between boats that are approaching each other should be. We anchor South of Buyuk Ada (Big Island)  in some 13 m of water. The weather is not suppose to get bad, but if the wind picks up, we will move to anchor in front of the city itself.

We are still "not in the country" officially so while there is a temptation to go ashore, we stifle it because if we are caught, have no clue what the authorities would do with us. We will try to check in at Eski Foca, our next stop.

2014-06-16: Arrived at Eski Foca. Back when we arrived in Cesme, we dropped anchor, only to be told by the Turkish Coast Guard that where we dropped the hook was not an authorized anchorage. So, in preparing to enter Eski Foca, I noted the paper charts had all types of notes about no anchorage and restricted areas. The electronic chart had similar notes, but in different areas. So, called up the Harbor Master and asked them where is the authorized anchorage. The lady that answered the phone did not know, did not know who to ask, and based on the tone in her voice, could not be  bothered to find out. Great! Called the Coast Guard (for those in Turkey their country wide phone # is 158) and asked them. They had not a clue either but offered to find out and get back to me. About 10 minutes later, their Izmir Operations Center called to tell me that I was authorized to anchor within 300 yards of  38° 40.380'N,  026° 44.880'E. So, I anchored within 194 yards of that point per my chart plotter in about 10 meters of water.

The little (Kucuk Deniz) harbor South and East of me is where the day charter gulets hang out. Dead South, in the bigger (Buyuk Deniz) harbor, there is pier space on both the East and West sides. We are hoping to move there after we complete the check-in process.

2014-06-17: We started the check-in process at 1300 yesterday and finished today at 1100. FOR THE RECORD, WE CANNOT EVEN REMOTELY RECOMMEND ESKI FOCA AS A PORT TO CHECK INTO OR OUT OF THE COUNTRY! There is one travel agency that can sell you a transit log and they may or may not have any on hand when you need it. To get one, either you, or they, have to travel to Izmir (64 km away) to buy one. There is no agent in town that you can off-load the check-in/out process to so you must do it your self.

We first show up at the Port Captain's office which is near to the dock where the ferry to the Karaburun Peninsular docks. He is on the Buyuk Deniz side of the bay. He is open from 09-1730, closed for lunch one hour, mid-day. If you have had a transit log before, you must present to him a new blank transit log AND the ORIGINAL of the check-out copy from your last transit log. FAILURE TO HAVE THIS WILL REQUIRE YOU TO RETURN TO THE PORT WHERE YOU LAST CHECKED OUT!!. (If you do not have a new blank transit log one, you have to get one from the travel agency so for those that are in Turkey, you may find it convenient to have a blank log on board just for situations like this.) After he fills in the new transit log (he did ours by hand, and his penmanship was terrible!) he sends you the the Health Police for the next step. They are located in Aliaga, some 42 km by road NW from him. (For those that care, they are at  38° 49.650'N,  26° 59.032'E.)

We had to take two minibuses and a taxi, plus a 3+ km walk to find this place. It took us 5+ hours to get there and back, and we cheated, we took a taxi from that office to the main intersection on the highway where the turnoff for Eski Foca is. (We were beat, dog tired, and really pissed off that the Port Captain had NOT been entirely up-front about the level of difficulty in getting this stamp.)

So, we get back to Eski Foca about 1900, to find Passport and Customs also closed. We go into the Police station right by Customs, and try as gently as possible for them to get permission from both entities if we could continue the process tomorrow. Nope. Nada. Not a chance.

The Passport Police Officer comes in and basically tells us that we had to do what we had to do to get that stamp, but for the entire trip, we were in the country illegally and if something would have happened… his voice trails off. He is quite sympathetic of our plight, and wrote to the government to explain what the Port Captain is having new comers do requires them to be illegal in the country for HOURS. No response. After that discussion, he stamps are passports and our transit log, but says we now have to wait for Customs. We suggest that we could come back tomorrow but again, nope, nada, not a chance, again! You see, we are legal. But LeeZe is still not. So, we wait for Customs, who shows up at about 2000, with her husband, and 6 month old baby. We apologize profusely but she says it is not a problem. Zehra finishes her dinner while I go in to handle the paperwork. She wants to see a copy of our old transit log, and then after a series of routine questions (all in Turkish mind you! She speaks NO English!), she stamps the transit log. Now LeeZe is legal. Then she tells me to go back to the Port Captain to complete the paperwork. But he is closed. She tries to get him to come in but fails. Then, she announces that she is going to hold on to the transit log until tomorrow morning. That is NOT going to happen. She is quite adamant but I tell her that if the Turkish Coast Guard comes by tonight, I need to show him these papers. She RELUCTANTLY agrees to return them to me, but if I had a new born son, she would have made me promise on his head that I will return tomorrow.

It is now after 2100, we are both are running in empty. I get some dinner, and we are back on board LeeZe by 2230, and asleep shortly after that.

So, today, at 0915, we continue the process. We tender in, and stop by the Port Captain Office. In so many ways we describe our trip to the Health Police, how a boat of foreigners could not have done that at all, how he misled us as to the ease of getting to the place and back, and that while we were performing that mission, we were ILLEGALLY in Turkey per the Passport Police Office. The more we recounted our tale of woe, the further he tries to melt under his desk. I even presented to him Google Earth screen shots showing that is was some 42+ km by road to where we had to go, not 30 like he said, some 4 km from the center of town, not in town like he said, and some 2+ km North of his counterpart in Aliaga, not right next too. Zehra said he apologized, but I never heard  it. So, until the government changes the check-in process, and has the Health Police drive down from Aliaga to check-in or check-out transit boaters, we say again WE CANNOT EVEN REMOTELY RECOMMEND ESKI FOCA AS A PORT TO CHECK INTO OR OUT OF THE COUNTRY!

Now here is a trick we just learned. We had heard that we could add the names of family and friends that MIGHT come aboard for a ride or two at this point. So, before the Port Captain completes the paperwork, we ask him to add 12 names, and he does. He then signs the document again, and welcomes us into Turkey. (By this time he is slowly slinking out from under his desk.) We then stop by the Passport Police and give him his copy of the transit log, and then Customs. It turns out the the Passport Police Officer must have had a heart attack when he saw 12 names on the log and not just ours, because about 2 hours later Zehra receives a frantic call from him. She explained about friends and family coming to visit, but he asked her at least three times if we both were the only two that entered the country. After that call, we had a good laugh. I cannot imagine what he went thru initially when he saw the log with 12 names. (For the record, we had 21 names we wanted to add, but the Port Captain asked us to limit it to the 12 most likely!)

By the way, here is what a complete entry transit log looks like:

The left hand stamp is the Health Police, then the Passport Police, then Customs, and last, on the right, is the Port Captains stamp. LeeZe is registered at 35 tons net displacement and normally, I have to pay a "lighthouse" fee because I displace so much, though recreational yachts under 20 tons have this fee waived for them. This time, I was not asked to pay the fee. I do NOT know if the Port Captain overlooked it because of the hoops he made us go through to get the Health stamp, or he made a mistake and forgot to charge us. We shall see if this fee catches up with us in the future.

(This log is good for one year, to expire 16 June 2015. One can renew at that time for another year without having to leave the country. One can do this 4 more times but on the 5th renewal, the boat must leave Turkish Territorial waters. The boat does NOT have to stay out long, at most one day, but it does have to depart.)

It is 1100 on a Tuesday and we are now legally in Turkey, LeeZe et al.  We also learn today is the once-per-week "farmer's market" so after a light breakfast, we buy our fruits, veggies, cheese and nuts, and return to LeeZe at about 1530 for some R&R.  BTW, there is a GREAT family restaurant called "Na-Ne Cafe" at the end of 203 Sok. The place was crowded today, and the food was flying out from the kitchen. If you are in town, may be worth checking out.

Here is a picture of the bay as you enter.

The "Little Harbor" is dead ahead and then to starboard. The "Big Harbor" is immediately to starboard. Noonsite reports that the holding in the Big Harbor is not so good. I can neither confirm nor deny. What I do know that the holding where I anchored was superb. I was in 10 meters of water, had out over 60 meters of chain, snubbed.

Here is a picture of Lee with LeeZe at anchor in the background:

Over Lee's right shoulder is the entrance to a Turkish Army Base. On some nights, we could hear, but not see what must have been military helos practicing night maneuvers. We could also hear large artillery guns being fired, small arms fire, smallish explosions, popping sounds (mortars?) and soldiers shouting during morning exercises.

2014-06-20: The anchorage is rocky due to the sustained winds so we spent some time in the late morning and early afternoon ashore walking about and doing some shopping just to get off LeeZe. But we returned and while Zehra took a nap down below in the master cabin, I took one on the aft deck. I was awoken by what sounded to me to be an airplane, really close, but I discounted it as my mind playing tricks. But it was not.

Seems there was a forest fire ashore and this plane needed water to help fight it. By radar, the distance between me and the shore was about 300 meters so my guess is this pilot was coming to within 150 meters of me. Was he coming this close to allow me to get a good pic? Or, was he showing off? Somehow, given that the there is more than 2 kilometers of empty water on the other side of LeeZe, without any boat at anchor, leads me to lean toward showing off!

Here we are waiting for dinner.

This is "Kucuk Deniz" (Little Harbor). We found this small restaurant that had great food so we ate dinner there twice. In the background are the small fishing boats that go out to catch the fish we were eating that night, One can also hire these to give you a private tour of the area. The day charter gulets are docked about 50 meters to the right of where Lee is sitting.

On this our last night in town, the city put up a stage (just for us?) and a Turkish Band started playing all types of songs starting about 2130. We listened to the music for about an hour and then called it a night.

2014-06-21: We get up, have coffee, and depart toward the North for Çandarli, some 20-21 nm away. The trip is OK but the seas are not flat, not having time to calm down after the last two days of wind. Upon approaching Çandarli, Zehra calls the head of the fishing port who informs us there is a place for us to tie up.

By this time the wind is a steady 20 knots from the SW/W and he wants me to med moor to a small rusty "pier" close to some very LARGE rocks in less than 3 meters of water (LeeZe draft is 1.6 meters) just inside the harbor wall. Righhhhhhhhhhtttttttttttt………… So, having learned my lesson from Cesme, I drop my anchor some 60-80 meters from this "pier" upwind but I have a devil of a time getting LeeZe to get close enough to get lines over. The wind keeps pushing me east, and the anchor which normally helps line me up is just not cooperating.

After some 45 minutes, I get close enough to get one line over and then another (We have some locals on board so Zehra is trying to understand what they are doing, telling me how close I am to the rocks, me listening to them, etc etc. Get the picture?  Controlled Chaos!) After both lines are over, I am told to take a strain on the anchor and guess what? It comes all the way back to me. By this time, the guy-in-charge  has called a friend to help who also happens to Captain a big fishing trawler. But even though I tell them I want to leave and go anchor, they will have none of that. I am about ready to take my big knife and cut the aft lines when the Captain comes aboard, tells me this is salvageable, and tells me to retrieve my anchor.

I do and I learn why my anchor never held. In it was a concrete block the size of a carry-on airline bag. So, the Captain tells me this stuff happens (the word is "işte" in Turkish it is used a lot when things do not happen as you want. To tell you the truth, it is spoken quite quite frequently!) So, as I sit back and worry about being close to the rocks aft, and Zehra not looking too happy, a small fishing boat comes along, knocks the concrete block out, cleans off the mud, and then proceeds, with my help to put the anchor on his stern so he can motor out and drop it for me. I have seen this before 3 years ago when the yard launched LeeZe, but having not remembered the particulars too well, (and LeeZe was not ours yet so the Yard Owner became quite excited when this trick did not work for him either!) I knew this would not work but could not put my finger as to exactly why.

Then I saw the small boat just stop some 10 meters ahead. He was trying to motor with my 88 kg anchor on his stern and pulling my 12 mm chain along using his 1 cylinder little diesel. Not going to happen. There is more confusion and I tell the Captain that for this to work, call the boat back, and let me place both the anchor and the chain on the fishing boat, and then as his motors away, he can slowly let the chain into the water. The Captain thinks that should work and I am now back in charge. Call the boat back, and start putting 80 meters of chain onto the boat. The boat gets quite low into the water but it works, and he slowly motors upwind, while the chain is slowly being let out. That seems to do the trick, but I thought one or more of the fishermen on the boat was going for a swim as they tried to get the anchor off their stern. With the anchor upwind and in the water, I bring it in and now, it is holding. LeeZe's bow starts to come to starboard and we are becoming more aligned like we should be.

So, 90 minutes after first entering the harbor, we are moored. 

It was not a fun evolution. Little do I know that had I waited until the next morning, the wind and seas would be dead calm in the morning and coming in would have been less hectic and chaotic. But I also did not know that later this same day, Zehra would learn that a dear cousin who we hosted on board in April has died, and that the funeral was the next day. So, I am glad that they did not listen to me and let me go and anchor. God was looking out for us in his unique and not-quite-understanderable way.

Here are some pictures of our moor:

Lines are tied to what appear to be eyebolts driven into the concrete. I have been promised that they will hold!

The rocks the fisherman is on are part of the harbor wall, and LeeZe's stern is some meters away from them.

This is the harbor that we are in:

The rock wall is high enough that once LeeZe is tucked in, the southern and westerly wind blow over LeeZe and does not seem to push on her too much. But until one gets close to the wall, these winds work havoc on vessel control.

This the beachfront (and yes, that is a restored Ottoman castle in the background)

School is out and it is quite crowded for a Sunday. Next week starts the 30 day Ramazan / Ramadan  period so if past Ramazan / Ramadan summer periods hold, the number of people vacationing will seriously drop and will not pick up until it ends, when the "Sweet Holiday" is celebrated.

2014-06-23: Today we had sustained winds from the North and those winds pushed LeeZe's bow toward the South and LeeZe''s starboard stern came into contact with that rusty pier.

So far have not done a complete inspection but do have at least cosmetic damage to the boat name's stencil that will require changing. There is probably more but cannot see it. Stuffed three tires into the gap as a makeshift fender and put a long line from the port forward cleat to the rocks to help prevent the bow from twisting anymore. Waiting for the winds to die down to take in the line somewhat an get the stern away from the pier. The forecast has the wind dying down this evening but it seems an interminable wait. 

Lesson Learned: I should have installed that long line from the port bow to the rocks earlier when the wind was blowing from the south and west. If I had I would not be in this predicament.  Ugh!

That concludes this blog entry. Of course, comments and questions are warmly welcomed. If you receive the link to this blog via a personal email, and no longer wish to, just me me know and I will remove you from the list. No hard feelings, OK?

Thanks for taking the time

Lee and Zehra Aboard MV LeeZe